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The secret to feeling upbeat all winter long is closer than you think. We’ve uncovered seven tips—backed by scientific research—to get you going. The birds may not be chirping, but you’ll feel like they are.

RELATED: 5 Winter Activities to Get Your Family Through the Post-Holiday Doldrums

workout chicago winter blues

Bust a Move

While it’s all too tempting to just stay on the couch and take in just one more episode of Chopped, exercise stimulates endorphins and help curb depression. So whether that means dancing around your apartment to RiRi or taking a hyped-up class at MaZi, it’s time to sweat.

listen to music chicago winter blues

Find Your Groove

Research out of University of Missouri supports something you’re probably already doing: playing your favorite jams. Listening to upbeat music while also trying to feel happier really works. So put your headphones on and press play on Pharrell’s “Happy.”

find the light chicago winter blues1

Seek Out Light

Think like a plant and go toward the light. thirty minutes per day near a light box can counteract low energy for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (ask your doctor to learn more). So if you’re feeling down, move your desk near a window, take a deep breath and then see how you feel.

eat chocolate chicago winter blues

Eat Some Chocolate

While yes, you should up your nutrition in general (aka eat things like kale with B vitamins that can do wonders for energy), you should also treat yourself. Experts at Dartmouth tout chocolate as a powerful mood enhancer. Just remember: A little goes a long way.

plan a vacation chicago winter blues

Plan a Vacay

That feeling when you’re looking forward to your girls’ trip to Tulum is real. The good feels associated with anticipating a trip have been measured by researchers. Can’t book a trip right now? Plan a fun dinner or girls’ day (we’re eyeing one of these spas.)

eat citrus chicago winter blues

Stop and Smell the Oranges

Good thing winter also happens to be citrus season. The scent of citrus can stir up energy and alertness. The bright colors, naturally sweet taste and immunity-boosting vitamins don’t hurt either.

go for a walk chicago winter blues

Get Outside

It may not be 72 and sunny outside, but fresh air is an instant pick-me-up. Bonus: Now that we’re past the winter solstice, you have more longer, sunnier days to enjoy outdoors. Try starting small with walking to pick up lunch, then plan a day of skating or sledding with the whole family.

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